900,000 Illegal Immigrants Ordered ‘Removed,’ but Roam Freely in the U.S.

Paul Bedard, Washington Examiner, July 1, 2015

Nearly 1 million of the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants in the United States have been ordered to leave the country but remain, many hiding in plain view as they take advantage of an overwhelmed federal system, according to new documents.

In the latest demonstration that the U.S. legal and police system appears unable to enforce immigration laws, documents show that about 900,000 undocumented immigrants, including 170,000 criminals, have been ordered deported “in absentia,” meaning a judge kicked them out without them even knowing it.

In the case of the recent surge of unaccompanied minors, huge numbers have been ordered deported, but likely remain behind because they didn’t show up for deportation hearings and were shown the door in absentia.

Documents from the “Executive Office for Immigration Review,” provided to Secrets, show the trend. From July 2014 to May 2015, for example, immigration judges “removed” 6,248 juveniles, but 5,453 were in absentia. During the same period, judges reviewing the cases of adult immigrants with children removed 11,516, 10,436 in absentia.

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And it appears it will get worse, according to congressional officials reviewing a new decision by the Homeland Security department to loosen up detention policies.

Under the new rules, once an undocumented alien establishes some claim to remaining in the United States, they will be released from detention centers. According to a DHS release, “In short, once a family has established eligibility for asylum or other relief under our laws, long-term detention is an inefficient use of our resources and should be discontinued.”

Also, DHS said they will be offering to release those who “state a claim” for asylum. Some 90 percent of people who say they have a fear of returning home are typically approved, yet just 2 percent are ever granted asylum by a judge.

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